William Collins (1789-1853) began his business in Glasgow, which was continued by his son, also William (1817-95). The latter was knighted in 1881. In 1877 they published Collins’ Series of Atlases. Atlas of England and Wales, containing Maps of all the Counties. The Preface for it explains that the maps were first issued as a series of County Geographies from about 1872. The atlas commences in the north with Northumberland and works its way south at Surrey before covering the Welsh counties. This is a bound collection of the County Geographies, each bound with the relevant text. The majority appear to be coastal counties. It commences again with Northumberland but works its way clockwise around the coast with a detour into interior southern counties, along the Welsh border back to Cumberland and Westmoreland. Then Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire finish the book. It is not known if this represents publication order but the imprints on the titles would indicate otherwise. Two are noted; Bridewell Place, New Bridge Street and 17 Warwick Square, Paternoster Row, some have none.
The majority of the maps are the work of Edward Weller. Omitted here are the general map, 6 covering the Welsh counties and further landlocked counties. At least two other collections bound have been recorded. One in the collection of Raymond Carroll and another in the British Library (10358.aaa.49(7). The business was continued by a third generation under William Collins III (1846-1906), it is still going under the banner Harper Collins today. Batten & Bennett (2010) 152; Burgess (2009) 181A; Carroll (1996) 131.C; Hodson (1974) 120B; Tooley’s Dictionary (1999-2004).